Interactive Outline--Chess & the Middle Ages


I. Origins

A. Ancient Times

1. Greeks played Patteria

2. Romans developed Latrunculi, from Patteria

B. Persian

1. "chess" from Persian for king ("shah")

2. checkmate from Persian for king is dead ("shah mat")

C. Medieval European

D. Time Line of Early Developments

II. Object of the Game=Capture the King

III. Pieces

A. pawn

1. first line of defense/attack

2. foot soldiers called "pikemen" because of spear-like

weapon carried into battle

3. also held shield in front

4. in game

a. can only move forward, one space at a time

(exception: first move, where less caution used)

b. can only attack on forward diagonal (shield in way of head-on attack)

B. castle/rook

1. provided protection for king, who lived within

2. center of architecture

3. in game

a. moves in "rank & file" (on square), as many unoccupied spaces as wanted

b. moves represented by architect's square

C. knight

1. powerful warrior on horseback

2. in game

a. move represents ability to "flank" opponent

b. moves 2, then 1

D. bishop

1. second only to king, queen in power

2. represented the Church

3. in game

a. moves on diagonal, as many unoccupied squares as wanted

b. moves represent power and freedom of movement

E. queen

1. very powerful

2. in game

a. moves on square or diagonally, as many

unoccupied squares as wanted

b. moves represent freedom of movement, power

F. king

1. most powerful, but more cautious

2. in game

a. moves in any direction, but only one square

Check out another good site for beginners (submitted by Lauren F, 6th grade, January 1999)